Bharat Ek Khoj should be part of History Classes


Caught a few minutes of the Shivaji episode of Bharat Ek Khoj, based on Nehru‘s The Discovery of India, last night on Loksabha TV. Even after 25 years of its production and first airing, it made captivating viewing. Should be mandatory course material in our schools. Compelling and interesting lessons in Indian mythology and history.

Enjoy the starting track here.


Why create a one way street with a customer?


For over a year now, Lavasa Corporation has been talking to me, initially to sell me one of their plots / villas, and later, as they went through a rather rough patch, to keep me informed about what’s happening with their company. For most parts, I have lauded their efforts to keep a dialogue on with their customers and prospects, even in times of adversity, when most companies would clap up.

All of my applause has been silent. And that is the subject of this post.

Why would you write excellent mails to your customers and make it one way? Look at the mail above. Clearly Ms Anuradha Paraskar has been identified as someone who carries a heavy title, that of Senior Vice President, no less. So that makes me feel nice. But when I want to write back to her to thank her and her company and wish them well, and I hit reply, I get stonewalled by an ID I would never write to: customerrelations@whatever.com.

Now, I have been told of many reasons why companies use not-personal IDs such as this, or chairman@thiscompany.com, but no, that does not work for me. If you want to me to write to you – whether to complain or to compliment, allow me to write to a human being, even if you use a fake name. That’s giving me respect. I did give you my correct ID, and not some goodcustomer@xyz.com, right?

 

Is Summer Internship a qualification?


When I was in business school 20 years ago, we chose a company for summer internship based on our area of interest and to learn how companies work et cetera. If we had a doubt between two companies, we chose the one that paid a higher stipend. It was simple.

Today, I am told students get all confused when choosing a company for summer internship. Apparently, it’s now a qualification. On a hunch I checked the LinkedIn profiles of a few people with 2-4 years experience and I did find summer internship listed as a qualification.

I must admit, I am a bit perplexed.

Insurance cheaper online?


A friend told me you get to pay lower for your car insurance renewal if you renew online instead of thru an agent. I saw an ICICI Lombard billboard claiming the same. I went to the ICICI Lombard website this morning, filled up the requisite details [they are my current insurers] and the website returned a quotation over 2.5 times what I had paid last year.

I noticed they had not applied a no-claim-bonus and I cant understand why, since as my current insurers, they would be aware that I haven’t claimed any insurance through the past year. But even that would not explain the 2.5x policy premium.

I think asking an agent to send a proposal is in the only way to know. So much for trying to do simple things digitally.